Candidate Relationship Management Part 2 – Expected Functionality

hands heart love
Photo by ATC Comm Photo on

This is part 2 of a three part series on SAP SuccessFactors Recruiting and how it fits into the Candidate Relationship Management (CRM) landscape. You can find the first post here, where I lay out the high level process.

I recently read an article on the Symphony Talent site called “The Employer Brand Infinity Loop“. It speaks to switching a recruiting marketing and engagement model from a funnel to an infinity loop, where the employee and candidate experience are tied together. This is common sense. As is often the case, common sense is uncommon. This series does not cover employee engagement for career development and counseling, or the Develop part of the diagram below. Candidate Relationship Management (CRM) is very applicable for employee engagement but won’t be separated out here.

Employee engagement aside, recruiting marketing has its own infinity loop. The funnel isn’t gone. It just needs a closed loop system. A cycle of engagement and re-engagement. Solutions that support recruiting marketing and CRM fall into the same spectrum of solutions as recruiting management systems: These solutions could be functionality included within a larger suite, dedicated CRM solutions, or specialized point solutions that solve specific CRM problems, such as using machine learning to match candidates. I’ll cover this in part 3. This post talks about features outside of the context of any particular vendors.

Diagram showing the different stages of Talent Acquisition, calling out Candidate Relationship Management functionality.

The above diagram shows the stages of Talent Acquisition and CRM functionality that you can expect to support each stage. Some of the functionality can be relevant for multiple stages. It also shows some examples of the infinity engagement loop, such as silver medalist applicants being added to talent pools and targeted email campaigns for when the next opportunity comes up. The CRM needs of an organization are usually a subset of the above diagram and doesn’t include all the solutions out there.

Not all organizations embrace CRM. Not all talent segments need email campaigns and extra sourcing effort. ALL candidates need a positive application experience.


Offer an easy-to use Career Site, allowing the registration of a visitors interest with minimal information (do not required a resume!). Offer specifically branded signup forms for different types of talent, such as school-branded signup for a career fair, along with only the fields relevant for that type of activity (e.g. “What’s your major?”).

Job Postings lie in active recruiting. However, where to post and what your spend is should be tracked against the funnel. Which posting channels got the most hires, cost per hire, visitor to applicant conversion, etc. by category of job. Supporting Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for postings should also be a given.

In the same vein, Employee Referrals should be easy for both the referring employee and the applicant. The status of their referral, what to expect, etc. should be very transparent to the employee making the referral.

Alumni Network solutions are a great source of high quality talent that have already been embedded in the culture of your organization.

College Recruiting and Campus Events fall into the sourcing of early career candidates and the management of career events. College Recruiting solutions connect students and employers–with employers being able to search for students by major, GPA, etc. and inviting students to connect. Career Events Management handles everything from registration, mass scheduling of students against recruiters and hiring managers, easy access to attendee resumes and other information and follow-up.


All career sites offer some form of job posting alerts based on search terms. Automatic matching of candidate experience and interests to postings is also desirable. Opt-in marketing campaigns can maintain interest until you’re hiring for a role again. Lastly, personalized content, tying stories, videos, etc. along with postings can keep visitors returning to the career site.


Engagement and personalization are closely tied together and overlapping. Marketing opt-ins drive email campaigns. Event Management can sit in either attract or engage. It’s both the attraction of candidates and funneling of those candidates to the right campaign, talent pool, or requisition. Virtual career events are a necessity right now due to Covid-19, as are video interviews within the core recruiting process.

Candidates should be allowed to engage how they feel comfortable at this stage. In addition to traditional Customer Relationship Management type activities such as tracking candidate readiness and early conversations with recruiters, career site chatbots and SMS messages powered by AI can be powerful.


In addition to a super easy and short mobile-enabled application experience, recruiters need to be able to see who dropped off during the application and possibly reach out to them.


Within the Applicant Tracking System (in our case SAP SuccessFactors Recruiting) recruiters need to be able to both source candidates from existing pools of talent, invite them to apply, and feed unsuccessful but qualified candidates (silver medalists) back into that same pool to keep them warm and ready for future sourcing.

Candidate Feedback

Source effectiveness analytics will tell you about your visitor-to-hire ratio, candidate drop-off rates etc. but it won’t tell you how it makes your candidate feel. Without a feedback mechanism you can identify the problem, but not the root cause.

Up Next

That was a whirlwind tour. Let me know in the comments or the contact page if I’m missing something. In the final post we’ll talk about what SAP SuccessFactors Recruiting does and doesn’t support and how you can solve for gaps.


You may also like...